Minerals are inorganic substances (molecule or molecules of an element) obtained from the diet that your body needs in small amounts for various physiological functions. They build blocks of bones and teeth and are part of the bodys tissues and fluids. Minerals also play a crucial role in the enzyme systems, cellular reactions, water balance and nerve function. A balanced diet usually provides all of the essential minerals. The requirements depend on the age, gender, health condition and physiological state of an individual (e.g. pregnant or lactating women).